Skip to main content

Cornell University

Cycling Safely

Biking Guidelines

Be Safe

  • Make sure your bike is mechanically safe and is the right fit for you­—have it adjusted at a local bike shop for a more comfortable and safer riding experience.
  • Wear a helmet. It greatly reduces the risk of serious head injuries and brain damage in a crash.
  • Tunes off! It’s against the law to wear more than one ear phone attached to an audio device (iPod, cell phone, etc.). Use your ears to keep tuned-in with traffic sounds.  

Be Seen

  • Wear brightly colored and/or reflective clothing to increase your visibility to motorists.
  • Install a bell or horn. It’s the law.
  • Use legal headlights and taillights if you ever ride at dusk or at night. They are also required by law.
  • Use a personal strobe light. While it’s not a legal taillight, it will get you noticed!  

Be Predictable

  • Follow all of the rules of the road. Cyclists are treated the same as other vehicle drivers and can be ticketed when they don’t obey traffic laws.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Stop for all red lights and stop signs.
  • Look in all directions for traffic.
  • Signal stops and turns, and make sure motorists and pedestrians see you.
  • Don’t make left turns from bike lanes—position yourself as you would if you were a motorist to make a left turn.
  • Be extra vigilant around buses

Be Secure

  • Register your bike with Cornell Commuter and Parking Services.
  • Register your bike with your municipality.
  • Bikes must be parked in a bike rack or in a residence hall storage area.
  • Use a u-lock or other high-quality lock to secure your bike to the rack.
  • Lock the frame and wheel to the rack.
  • Report a missing bike to the police.  

Your bike can be impounded if it:

  • creates a safety hazard.
  • is in a walkway, stairway, doorway, hallway, etc.
  • is locked to a railing, signpost, tree, or anything else that is NOT a bike rack.
  • appears to be abandoned.